Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UIS receives national recognition for community service, named to President's Honor Roll

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

“We are so pleased to be named for the second year in a row to the Presidential Honor Roll. Two of our top strategic goals at UIS are making a difference in the world and enriching individual lives. Our students, staff and faculty are committed to these goals, and it’s wonderful to see UIS be recognized for its efforts,” said Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

According to the UIS Volunteer Center director, Kelly Thompson, UIS was named to the honor roll for recognition of its various volunteer programs throughout the past year. Specifically mentioned in the honor roll recognition were its many mentoring activities within Springfield School District 186, including programs through Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as UIS’ recent collaboration with the Central Illinois Foodbank to complete a hunger study. For example, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Harvard Park Elementary School, approximately 15 UIS students completed over 400 hours of community service.

“Congratulations to UIS and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

For more information contact Kelly Thompson, UIS Volunteer Center director at 217/206-8448 or volunteer@uis.edu.

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